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Regional One Health in Tennessee Settles Case Involving a Patient Dumping Allegation

On July 7, 2016, Regional One Health (ROH), in Memphis, Tennessee, entered into a $45,000 settlement agreement with OIG. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that ROH violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) when it failed to provide an adequate medical screening examination and stabilizing treatment to a patient and inappropriately transferred the patient to another hospital. The patient presented at ROH with complaints of sudden pain in the lower right quadrant of his abdomen. OIG’s investigation revealed that despite the fact that ROH was aware of the patient’s abnormal lactic acid levels and perforated viscus, ROH failed to fully evaluate the severity and cause of the patient’s emergency condition and failed to provide the patient stabilizing treatment for sepsis. Instead, ROH transferred the patient to another hospital, even though ROH was capable of providing the highest level of care to the patient. OIG contends that the transfer by ROH was inappropriate because the patient was not informed of the risks of transfer, the benefits of transfer did not outweigh the risks, and the transfer unnecessarily cause a delay in the patient’s care. The patient died due to septic shock and respiratory failure within a week of his transfer by ROH. Under EMTALA, hospitals can be fined up to $50,000 per violation. Associate Counsel Srishti Miglani represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:July 7, 2016
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions